There are many non-theists who seem downright militant about their non-belief. Some even tout there militancy as a virtue. They’re proud of the fact they don’t believe in a deity of any kind and are hostile toward religion and those who do believe. I can understand that they don’t fancy themselves as delusional and they’re annoyed by anyone they believe to be. I can also understand they don’t want the religious ideals of those who believe forced upon them. This is supposed to be a free country is it not? There are those who militantly declare that all religion should be outlawed. That would be equally forcing a belief on everyone else who doesn’t agree.
As one who, in the past, has argued that this is a Christian nation, founded on Christian principals I’m readily admitting the delusion under which I fell. I’m glad I’ve realized that forcing a theocracy on everyone is erroneous and unfounded. I’m glad I’ve gone through this doubtful stage in my faith and lost that fundamentalist mentality of certainty of salvation and doctrine. I’m wholly undecided at this point about faith in any God, though I can understand and relate to those on both sides of the issue.
Surely there is some middle ground to be had; someplace everyone can feel safe regardless of belief. I wish that people on both sides of the issue were more open to each other’s humanity. Throughout this process I’ve seen militant, fundamentalist Christians bash atheists, agnostics and those of other faiths. I’ve seen militant atheists mock Christians, and those of other faiths as well as agnostics. They frequently call each other delusional, among other things. Let’s look at the definition of delusion, shall we?
n.1.a. The act or process of deluding.b. The state of being deluded.2. A false belief or opinion: labored under the delusion that success was at hand.3. Psychiatry A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: delusions of persecution.
Both fundamentalist Christians and militant atheists are under the delusion that the other is horribly misled. There simply is no way to prove that either there is or is not a God. Various evidences lead one to believe what they believe. I’ve found through my journey that the very evidence that leads one person to conclude that there is a God is the exact same evidence that leads another to conclude that with little doubt there is no God. It’s a double edged sword. And what one deems as evidence for one side of the story another deems as evidence to the contrary.
What I’d like to say in response to that is, “Didn’t your mama ever teach you that you get more flies with honey than with vinegar?”. Militancy on either side of the issue is an extreme view. Most of us who struggle with doubt, who were once firm believers in a God, are trying to escape fundamentalism and extremism. Calling me delusional or stupid for having believed something that seems so ridiculous to you isn’t going to help me become less delusional. If, as a fundamentalist Christian, you say I must have never been a believer, or that I’m stupid, or that I’ve fallen under a delusion, that won’t attract me back to “the faith”. It’s offensive.
We might start with treating each other like human beings; by respecting one another’s beliefs or lack thereof. Hostility usually just escalates into war. I think we’ve had enough of that to last an eternity. We might just find out in the end that we were all delusional.